The Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold their entire catalog to Hipgnosis in a deal that was reportedly worth north of $140 million.
The 38-year-old rock band and the UK-based song-investment fund just recently unveiled the high-profile transaction, which represents the latest in a long line of music-IP sales involving well-known acts. To be sure, Paul Simon in late March sold his own catalog to Sony Music Publishing, while Linda Ronstadt and David Crosby that same month finalized deals with Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artists Group.
Across their nearly four-decade-long career, the Red Hot Chili Peppers have released 11 studio albums, the newest of which, The Getaway, became available to fans in 2016. Among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame group’s most popular tracks are 2006’s “Snow (Hey Oh)” and “Dani California,” 2000’s “Otherside,” and 1992’s “Under the Bridge” – all of which were co-written by Flea, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, and Chad Smith.
With this agreement, Merck Mercuriadis’s hyper-leveraged Hipgnosis – traded as SONG on the London Stock Exchange – has officially acquired a portion or the entirety of catalogs from Shakira, Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Motley Crüe’s Nikki Sixx, Barry Manilow, Mark Ronson, and others during the last year or so.
And needless to say, by betting over a billion dollars on the long-term earning potential of music IP, London-headquartered Hipgnosis has materially elevated catalogs’ sale prices. Nevertheless, other parties are continuing to acquire song rights of their own.
Besides the aforementioned plays from Iconic Artists Group and Sony Music Publishing, Bob Dylan in December of 2020 enjoyed a reported $300 million windfall by selling his catalog to Universal Music Publishing Group – though the deal spurred a $7.25 million legal action against the 79-year-old.
Primary Wave paid a reported $100 million for Stevie Nicks’ catalog in December – following the TikTok-driven resurgence of “Dreams,” it bears mentioning – and BMG acquired the 300-track recorded catalog of Mick Fleetwood in January. Additionally, the Bertelsmann subsidiary has partnered with Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) to collaborate on music IP acquisitions moving forward.
Lastly, Round Hill Music quietly inked several noteworthy catalog agreements to kick off 2021, and Concord about one week ago bought the more than 145,000-track catalog of Downtown Music for a reported $300 million. Included in the latter are interests in works from Aretha Franklin, Maroon 5, Jay-Z, Rage Against the Machine, and Stevie Wonder, to name just some.